September 16

Job 2:4-5, 10 4"Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. 5But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."

10He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Job lost everything but his wife and yet retained his integrity. God asked Satan if he was now convinced of Job's love for God. Satan told God that any man would curse God if his health were taken from him. God gave permission to take his health but not his life. Job was afflicted with boils head to foot. He used a piece of broken pot to scrape off the boils.

Then his wife told him it was not worth it to try to remain right with God, "just curse Him and die." Sometimes we get poor advice from a spouse because they don't want to see us suffer. Eternity is of much greater value than temporal relief from pain. Job answered her with an expression that we would do well to consider, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Is God aloud only to be Santa Claus? Can He never have a reason to bring difficulty? Will we be so brazen as to say that we know better than God what is needed in our lives? We thank Him for the things we perceive to be good, but should we not thank Him for trouble, knowing He has allowed it for a good purpose?

Job did not sin with his mouth. His heart may have been beginning to question, but his testimony remained solid. Here too, we can take a tip from Job. Be most careful of what you express to others during difficult times. We can teach them to have faith in God, or to doubt God. Our response is a witness that can encourage faith or doubt. It is at these times that we are most tempted to let the wrong expressions slip from our lips as we seek sympathy from those around us. We want them to feel our pain.

Remember: No one feels our pain like our Great High Priest, Jesus. Take your pain to Him in prayer. His Holy Spirit is the Comforter.